Overall it's been a fairly quiet season as far as trades are concerned in the National Hockey League, however rumors have heated up considerably in recent weeks and we've even seen a few minor deals take place.
Now however the trade deadline is drawing very close and general managers have roughly one more month to asses the status of their clubs before deciding how best to act moving forward, and it's those decisions that ESPN insider Pierre LeBrun believes could lead to some big names being moved.
In a recent article LeBrun focused on three big names he believes are likely to be moved, especially if their respective teams continue to trend at their current pace. The first on the list is St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, a name that despite being heavily rumored last season was rarely discussed in trade rumors during the Blues curent season, that however may have changed.
But I think it’s accurate to say that Blues GM Doug Armstrong would be ready to listen to offers for Shattenkirk -- and, depending on the quality of offers, perhaps pull the trigger so he gains some value back in return for the pending UFA.
Another big surprise to some will be the name of Red Wings forward Thomas Vanek but there has been considerable talk regarding a Vanek trade in recent weeks. As a soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Vanek's value is higher than it's been in years, and that may be enough to get general manager Ken Holland to pull the trigger.
Vanek has arguably been Detroit's best offensive player this season, and LeBrun believes that the Red Wings would consider re-signing him if he took a team friendly deal.
Last but certainly not least may be the biggest surprise on the list, former Stanley Cup Champion Patrick Sharp. No one would have called this move prior to the start of the season, but with the Dallas Stars struggling and potentially falling out of contention as well as a large number of UFA's on their roster, LeBrun believes that some big moves could be on the horizon for the Stars.